Obama says he hopes Trump has made people realize elections matter

Obama says he hopes Trump has made people realize elections matter

Former President  Obama said Friday that he hopes President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE's election drives more Americans to the polls. 

"If you thought elections don’t matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression," Obama said in a speech at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "So if you don’t like what’s going on right now — and you shouldn't — do not complain."

"Don’t hashtag, don’t get anxious, don’t retreat, don’t binge on whatever it is you’re binging on, don’t lose yourself in ironic detachment, don’t put your head in the sand, don’t boo," he added. "Vote."

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Speaking to a crowd of college students, Obama said that fewer than one in five young people voted in 2014. He argued that young voters now had the power to reshape American politics, but warned against "indifference."

"The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference," he said. "The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism. Cynicism led too many people to turn away from politics and stay home on Election Day."

Much of Obama's speech was targeted squarely at Trump, marking the first time since leaving office that the former president has gone after the president by name.